UPDATE (6/29/2020): Leo Hurtado Ibarra was pronounced dead at 12:50 pm.
In the early evening of Saturday, June 27, a man named Leo was shot by police in Downtown San Diego. According to witnesses, Leo was unarmed. Police shot him in the back–firing 4-6 rounds according to witnesses though other sources indicate he may have been shot as many as 11 times in the back.
Facebook footage taken after the scene shows a police officer giving Leo CPR while Leo lays handcuffed in his own blood. Leo was motionless for several minutes before being taken to the hospital. Police say Leo is 25 years old and claim he is still alive.
According to an SDPD statement, officers who fired upon Leo claimed to recognize him from a wanted flier regarding a robbery. SDPD released a still image from nearby surveillance cameras to create a narrative which has been parroted by mainstream media. However, the image shows Leo with his back to the cops, both hands in the air. As of now the police have not released the surveillance video or any body camera footage, despite demands for transparency from community leaders.
The community responds
Shortly after the shooting, nearly 200 protestors gathered at the scene. The multinational crowd remained strong long after midnight. Several organizations, including San Diego Freedom Fighters, SD Street Medics, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement were present.
Members of the crowd led chants calling for the cops to “Quit Your Jobs!” and promising “No Justice, No Peace!” One demonstrator speaking with megaphones called the cops “class traitors.”
“If he had a gun and pointed it at somebody, wouldn’t he be shot in the front anyways?” local resident Neera Dubois suggested to Liberation News. Soon after, she exclaimed “The cops are murderers! They’ve been murdering.”
A follow-up action is planned near the scene of the shooting for all day June 28. There is also a pro-Palestinian demonstration on July 1 and a “Defundence Day” protest on July 4. As the community waits for more information about Leo and the shooting, one thing is clear: San Diego’s rebellion against racism and police terror isn’t going anywhere.